101 with Rob Hes

Rob Hes is a Dutch producer, DJ and label owner, that has been actively building his music career for the last fifteen years. He managed to craft his unique techno sound which can be described as raw, energetic but very musical at the same time. While Rob definitely isn't a newcomer to the scene, it's been the last few years that propelled him amongst fastest rising talents within techno community.

With more than a decade of studio experience which resulted in releases on Dubfire's "SCI+TEC", Christian Smith's "Tronic", the infamous "Bedrock" label and his own Pursuit imprint, Rob Hes is a name to remember. We've invited him to share some of his interesting experiences in our 101 article. 

What was the funniest / most bizarre request you’ve ever had while playing?

I was playing in Tbilisi, Georgia for NYE a couple years ago and there where some rich dudes who were offering money to request a track. I can’t remember which track or song because it was definitely NOT techno.

And a funny story was when I've played in China last year, there was a girl from the UK on the dance floor and she was screaming my name all the time. Every time I looked over she pulled off her shirt and showed her boobs haha.

Can you describe your studio setup for us?

I’m working with Ableton on my iMac with a lot of software. For my hardware base, I work with the Korg Minilogue, Toraiz, TR-8 and the System-1 from Roland.

All these are going into my Soundcraft Ghost mixer wired back to the computer. Some of the software that I use in every track includes the Vintagewarmer, Ferox from ToneBoosters, Arturia synths and a lot of stereo plugins.

Could you tell us the story about your first gig?

My first gig was already 19 years ago in a small town in the Netherlands. Of course, I've played with vinyl because at that time there wasn't anything else. As a vinyl lover, I still miss it sometimes. The good old days. :) To tell you more about this gig... hmm...

well, I know I was really nervous, and I had to open the party that night. I can’t remember if it was even good or not! So a little bit of a boring first gig memory.

Name three artists that currently inspire you.

I will name some of the "new" generation ones. The guys who made it already don’t need the attention, and it's always nice to discover new artists, right? First up there are two very talented guys from Poland called Duss. I have been in touch with them for the last year or so, and they were also the first artist that I've signed to my new label Pursuit. They haven't really released much, but I promise you, I think they will be a duo you’ll hear a lot about this year, including their awesome collab with me :)

Italian artist, The Southern is also the part of the Pursuit family and he's someone who is growing fast. I just released an amazing track from him on our Soundcloud page. "Malox" is the name and you can download it for free! The last artist is LAAT from Amsterdam, who is also a good friend of mine. We did a lot of collaborations last year that were released on Tronic, Octopus, Bedrock and Elevate.

Recall the worst experience of ‘killing the vibe’ in the club.

One time in Helsinki, a warm-up DJ before me played at a speed of 145 BPM! Do I need to say more? :)

What do you do before and after your set?

Most of the time I always go to dinner with the promoter and after that, I rest a bit in my hotel room. In the club, I will get some drinks before I start my set. After the set, I always stay for a while since I can’t sleep because of the adrenaline. Plus it's nice to hang out especially if you have some friends on the same show playing too.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Worst and funny one: You know those dating sites? Most of them are one big scam. So I was working for one of them. Behind my laptop, at home, I had to answer messages from guys who thought I was that beautiful girl in all the photos. So just imagine all the dick pics etc. This is NOT a joke by the way!! I stopped after 2 months, as it was just plain weird and the pay was terrible.

What are your favourite labels at the moment?

Tronic, Senso, Noir, SCI+TEC, Kraftek, Octopus and of course if I can say my own label Pursuit… then I will!! :)

Imagine a cold winter, a fireplace and two glasses of wine—what song would you play? 

First up, I hate wine, and am I outside or inside? Let’s say I am outside, then I would opt for Pleasurekraft’s new album. I just got the promo and I'm in love with a track called "G.O.D (Gospel of Doubt) Part 2 ft Casey Gerald". So I would play this one because you will get warm from dancing that's for sure…

Last but not least. What's the best advice you've ever received? A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.

By Saša, edited on 14 June 2018